Nonprofit For Oak Cliff is situated at 4478 S. Marsailis Avenue, located in a community that it is need of a helping hand.
“We’re a backbone entity for this neighborhood,” Founder of For Oak Cliff Taylor Toynes said. “Our mission is to liberate Oak Cliff from systemic oppression by creating a culture of social mobility through our four pillars. Education, advocacy, community building and the arts.”
When the coronavirus pandemic hit the neighborhood, though, Toynes said the vessel was the same, but he mission got even bigger.
“You are trying to beat the virus. You’re trying to beat poverty and you’re trying to beat the food desert. So it’s an added layer to the system,” Toynes said.
Every Wednesday, for the last three weeks, the south Oak Cliff nonprofit has been packaging around 800 boxes of food, each week. Those boxes are either delivered to older adults in the neighborhood or picked up from their facility. It's all made possible through a collaboration with For Oak Cliff, Harvest Project Food Rescue and Momentum Eats.
“We have people pulling up and picking up. Then there are people who are making the deliveries,” Toynes said.
The specific zip codes that lean on For Oak Cliff are in a food desert, an urban area where it’s hard to get access to affordable, healthy food. During a global pandemic and stay at home restrictions for so long, that left many in the community helpless.
“The best reaction I got was from an elderly women telling me that she doesn’t have to go to the store anymore, because we are giving her food. When I think about the risk of going to the store for our elders right now. Like wow. I was pleased that we were able to serve her in that way,” Toynes said.
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Volunteers are needed every Wednesday morning for the food drives and volunteers must wear a mask.